When I moved to NYC last March, I was always out and about in the mornings going to interviews and I would see people lined up at the coffee carts on the street corners. I would watch these people intensely. They would walk up, put their money down, and the coffee cart guy would hand them their coffee and donut/bagel/croissant with no words exchanged, except maybe a Good Morning or how are you today.
BUT never anything such as Coffee Black, Cream and 2 sugars – none of that.
These people were REGULARS to a SPECIFIC COFFEE CART – every week day like clockwork they would stop at their Coffee Cart and get their coffee and maybe breakfast.
At the time I was taking it all in – new to the city – and I thought some day I want to have a Coffee Cart and be a REGULAR to a Coffee Cart.
I am a avid coffee drinker – I HAVE to HAVE it EVERY MORNING. In the old office, there was a Starbucks in the building so I would just stop there and grab my coffee. When we moved to the new location, Starbucks was on the way from the Subway to the Office so again I would just pop in.
Then one day (after my Starbucks giftcard that I got for my birthday ran out) I thought shit Starbucks is expensive and I don’t love the coffee (way over-roasted) so why not stop at the Coffee Cart Right outside of Starbucks (and I had noticed he had iced coffee, which I love yum yum!). **This was also after many conversations in the office about how much we all hated Starbucks and how we needed to find new places to get coffee.**
So I stopped at the cart – the guy was very friendly and to my surprise the Coffee was GREAT! I sent Carolyn there (who also was in a quest for a new coffee place) and she loved it too. Since that Day – I have become a REGULAR. I walk up to the cart and he is making my coffee – cream, 2 sugars – and it is basically in my hands by the time I put my $$ down.
He always has a smile on his face, always saying “good morning sweetheart” or “how are you today?” or “did you have a good weekend, stay out of trouble?” or “you are running late today!” and on Fridays he always says “have a good weekend and stay out of trouble!!”
One Monday morning (which happened to be Columbus Day), I approached the coffee cart corner and the cart was no where in sight. I was confused and astonished. I had to go to Starbucks – I didn’t even know what to do. I walked into the office and Carolyn exclaimed “Where is he?? why is he not there today?” On Tuesday, he was back and he said “Did you work yesterday?” I said “I did, BUT YOU DIDN’T!!!” He retorted “I took a holiday and worked at home.” I suppose he deserves a Holiday, I suppose.
As the weather started to turn colder, I noticed he wasn’t making my coffee as soon as he saw me and he started to ask “Iced??” Every morning, he still asks that and I just smile and say “Yes, iced still!”
However, today I threw him for a loop – I was chilled to the bone this morning and I walked up and saw him reaching for the clear plastic cup for the iced coffee and I said “Today HOT!! I am soooo cold!!!” And he just smiled, nodded and replied “I was wondering when this day would come!”
I went back for my second cup today and Carolyn and I went together. He looked at us with a huge smile (because she is a regular now too) and he said to me “Iced or Hot?” Still chilled to the bone I got hot. Then Carolyn said black and sugar and he smiled his cunning little smile and said “Yes I know who you are!”
We decided we should get him a Christmas present! (not coffee, donuts or bagels though…)
So there you have it! I am a REGULAR – I am living my coffee cart dream!!!